Do you want to design a compelling, effective website for your brand? Here’s the first three of seven simple steps for preparing the soil for a flourishing website.

Identify your Who, What and Why

Before you start buying domain names, installing WordPress and a bunch of plugins, you need to identify your WWW: Who, What and Why:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do you want your audience to do?
  • Why do you want your audience to do that?

One way you can name your Who, What and Why is with a template like this:
I want [WHO] to [WHAT] so that [WHY].

Examples:

  • I want local bakeries to contact me so that I can send them samples of my donuts for resell.
  • I want people in my neighborhood to visit our church so that they’ll have a relationship with Christ.
  • I want dog owners to see beautiful photos of people with their pets so that they’ll want photos with their pets and order my photographic services.

Plan what you’ll invest

After figuring out your Who, What and Why, you need to decide how much money will you invest per day into your site.

Enough to pay for water (free)

It’s theoretically possible to build a website or online presence free, but it usually comes with severe limitations, such as not having a domain name or complete control of content.

A buck a day

A buck a day adds up to $365 a year, which is plenty to secure a domain name, decent hosting, and extra services such as email marketing.

Cup of coffee per day

I remember when a cup of coffee was less than a buck, but those days are over. Now it’s closer to $2-$3 for a small drip coffee depending on where you go. Add that up over a year and you’re looking at under $999 for a year, which may first shock you with the thought:

I’m spending almost a grand a year on plain coffee?

Consider brewing at home and investing the money into your website. For that amount, you can get secure, dedicated hosting, email marketing and other features such as membership site capabilities.

Create SMART Goals

Armed with your Who, What, Why and Spending Plan, write down three SMART goals for your website in a Website Plan. These goals should to be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Actionable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Again, templates are good so here’s one for this step:

I want [MEASURABLE, REALISTIC NUMBER] of [SPECIFIC WHO] to [TAKE REALISTIC ACTION] by [TIMELY DATE].

Examples:

  • I want 30 law enforcement officers to register for training classes in the next month.
  • I want 15 businesses to contact me for speaking engagements by the end of this year.
  • I want 50 small business owners to sign up for my email newsletter by the end of this quarter.

Next Steps

After you’ve created your Website Plan containing your WWW, Spending Plan and SMART Goals, you’re ready to move on to the next four steps:

  1. Brainstorming
  2. Prototyping
  3. Test Driving
  4. Creating

Next week I hope to cover those in details.

Did you find this information helpful? Let me know in the comments section below, and leave any questions you may have.

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